Malcolm has been a practicing place and destination brand strategy consultant since 2003. Prior to that he worked in the fields of town planning and economic development in the UK, in central and local government, as a consultant, and as a CEO of major economic development and training companies. Malcolm merged his Placematters consultancy with Bloom Consulting, where he is now President. Malcolm worked with Bloom through 2016 and 2017 on the brand strategy for Paraguay, on a 2017 project assessing the impact of the country brand of Costa Rica in the US, the UK and Europe, and on a nation branding project for Australia.
Simon Anholt has advised the presidents, prime ministers and governments of 55 countries during the last 20 years, helping them to engage more imaginatively and effectively with the international community. He first coined the term ‘nation brand’ in 1998 and is widely acknowledged as the creator of the concept of place branding.
He publishes the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index and City Brands Index, two surveys which since 2005 have collected more than a billion data points tracking the images of cities and countries worldwide. He also publishes the Good Country Index, a survey that ranks countries on their contribution to humanity and the planet, and in 2016 launched the Global Vote, which enables anybody in the world to vote in the elections of other countries.
He has written five books about countries, cultures and globalisation.
Natalia Bayona is the leader of the Innovation and Digital Transformation Strategy of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Natalia Bayona holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from the Universidad Externado de Colombia and an Executive MBA from IE Business School. She is part of the World Economic Forum network as a European Digital Leader for IE Business School.
In 2017, she served as the Vice President of International Development for the Spain Startup - South Summit. Natalia organised the first South Summit Pacific Alliance, connecting the main stakeholders of the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru.
In 2016, she began her ten year tenure in ProColombia, during which she has lived in six countries where she has developed strategies that boost export, foreign investment and tourism for Colombia.
Sage first visited China in 1987, and has been studying and speaking the language and culture ever since. He has worked in China as a researcher, investor, entrepreneur, journalist and advisor, with a specialization in travel, digital, mobile and strategy. Sage co-founded China Luxury Advisors to assist luxury brands and retailers in developing China-related strategies, ranging from market entry, to social media, to attracting, converting, and retaining Chinese tourists. Sage contributed the weekly “Sage Brennan’s This Week in China” column to Dow Jones’ MarketWatch for two years, and remains a frequent commentator on China-related media and technology issues in print media and on programs such as CNBC’s Asia Squawk Box, Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily and others. Sage is a founder and curator of the Shanghai chapter of MobileMonday, with over 3,000 participants, and co-founded the TEDxShanghai chapter. He is also a regular speaker on China at conferences such as SouthXSouthwest, AdTech and others. A native of Boston, Sage holds both an MBA and an undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and harbors a lifelong passion for Mandarin and China.
Dan leads the team responsible for delivering the regeneration of the Royal Docks a joint initiative between the Mayor of London and the Mayor of Newham. The project is the Mayor of London’s largest land-led regeneration project and a designated Enterprise Zone. Dan is accountable for the delivery of a portfolio of major mixed-use development projects and a comprehensive programme of cultural placemaking, promotional and investment activity.
Jules is MD, Business at London & Partners, the official promotional agency for London. Jules is responsible for the teams that attract and retain foreign direct investment; that bring major business events to London and capital into regeneration projects; and that support London’s scaling business to expand internationally. Prior to L&P, Jules helped to scale a communications company, working with clients across financial services, TMT, energy and infrastructure. Before this, she spent 15 years with the Foreign Office, based in Jordan, Iraq, the US, Ethiopia and Guatemala, where she was UK Ambassador. She supported the National Security Council’s work to strengthen UK relations with countries such as India and China and helped to expand the GREAT Britain Campaign to 250 cities around the world, promoting the UK as a place to study, visit and do business.
Colin Ferguson joined Travel Manitoba as President and CEO in early 2011. Since then, he’s had the opportunity to travel to all corners of the province experiencing all that makes Manitoba an ideal travel destination. Well known in Winnipeg’s advertising and marketing community, prior to joining Travel Manitoba, he was partner in Ferguson Walker Marketing Communications and earlier, Senior Partner and General Manager of Palmer Jarvis Advertising/Palmer Jarvis DDB, working with local, provincial and national clients. He has also been active in the not-for-profit sector, as one of the founding directors of Partners in the Park, now Assiniboine Park Conservancy; president of the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation; and strategic planning and marketing lead for Winnipeg’s hosting of the 1999 Pan Am Games.
He too is the Founder of the Canadian Women’s Bandy team headquartered in Winnipeg... currently ranked fourth in the World.
Marketing professional with long term experience in city branding. Started his career in different medias and afterwards continued in the area of marketing and communication. In recent years he has been working with image building for the second largest Lithuanian city – Kaunas. During this period Kaunas has become the fastest growing Lithuanian city, leading in the country in respect to investments, new jobs creation and salary growth benchmarks. Moreover in 2018 Kaunas improved its inbound tourists’ number record.
Renee has been focused on the China market since 2000, with a specialty in understanding and selling to the Chinese consumer. She has worked as a brand owner, retail operator, consumer researcher, public relations specialist and market entry strategist in China
Renee Hartmann is co-founder of China Luxury Advisors, a boutique consultancy that helps brands develop China-related strategies, ranging from market entry to social media to attracting, converting, and retaining Chinese tourists. CLA has advised brands such as Bergdorf Goodman, El Corte Ingles, Taubman Centers, Ermenegildo Zegna, TUMI and others on their global Chinese consumer strategy to attract, retain and convert Chinese tourists.
Renee holds a BBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and sits on Fuqua’s East Asia Advisory Board. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and was named one of CNN’s “Top 20 People to Watch in Shanghai” in 2010. Renee has operated and lived in China for more than twelve years and speaks Mandarin.
"Rotterdam may be Europe's new capital of cool." These kinds of quotes from CNN,Lonely Planet, the New York Times etc., have made Rotterdam very popular in recent years. Through a goal orientated international media strategy Rotterdam managed to change its image for the better. Kim Heinen is the International Press Officer with Rotterdam Partners since 2010. What has she learned from working with the media? How do you build media relations that last and how can you generate awareness and create momentum for your destination?
Ray Hoyt joined the Tulsa Sports Commission in September of 2010 as the Executive Directorbut quickly assumed senior leadership with the Tulsa Regional Chamber as the Senior Vice President of both Visit Tulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission. Within his first year in this expanded role, Ray succeeded in raising over $3.5 million in private monies, under a campaign known as “VisitTulsa 1.0.” That campaign’s success led to VisitTulsa 2.0, in which investors “doubled-down” an additional $6.4 million for an event closing fund. In late 2014 Ray worked with the VisitTulsa and Tulsa Sports Commission Boards to consolidate into one Regional Tourism Board. Now President of Regional Tourism, Ray recently led the Board to secure $1.2 million in additional lodging tax annually through a change in a city ordinance.
Prior to his arrival in Tulsa, Rayserved as the Director of National Games for the National Senior Games Association, an organization with whom he had been associated since serving as inaugural Executive Director for the Tucson Sports Commission 1994-1997.
The convention and tourism leader, the Walt Disney Company, recognized Ray’s success in Tucson.Subsequently, he joined the Disney’s Wide World of Sports team in 1997 ultimately leading the event management team, which ran over 40 AAU National Championships, the USTA National Clay Court Championships, Disney’s Indy 200, the Walt Disney World Marathon, POP Warner Super Bowl Championships and more - totaling to over 200 separate events annually. Ray’s impact led to more profitable events as defined by higher per-athlete spending and increased room nights sold per event.
Ray graduated from Illinois State University, with a BS degree in Parks and Recreation Administration and is an active member of both the National Association of Sports Commissions and Destination Marketing Association International, among other organizations.
Away from the office, Ray enjoys golf, cycling, and spending time with his family. Ray lives with his wife Tricia and their two children, Riley and Regan; Ray’s elder daughter, Alyssa, resides in Tucson, Arizona with her husband.
Tessa was appointed Director General of Haiti’s national investment promotion agency, the Center for the Facilitation of Investments (CFI) in April 2017. She implements the policies set forth for the CFI and works to attract investments that contribute to the development of the country, diversify the economy, strengthen supply chains, and generate jobs.
CFI´s main mandate is to promote investments and help potential local and foreign investors find and take advantage of opportunities in Haiti.
Tessa brings to CFI an excellent understanding of the business environment in Haiti as well as of other parts of the world. Her willingness to work in coordination with the different parties involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, to attract more investors in the country is a valuable asset to the vision of the government for an inclusive and diverse investment climate.
In early 2019, Tessa worked alongside multiple public and private sector stakeholders to successfully launch the new Haiti country brand.
Tessa currently serves as the President of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion agencies (CAIPA).
Her strong work ethic, dynamism, leadership and approachability have made Tessa an exceptional and reputable corner stone in the investment sector of Haiti.
In his daytime job Peter is managing director of Eindhoven Marketing, the organisation responsible for the place branding and marketing of Eindhoven region, named Eindhoven365. He also has a big passion for Estonia and decided as an early e-Resident to create value to support the country in marketing and promoting their ambitions to a greater and relevant global audience. He became overnight a superstar in Estonia thanks to his ESTonishing pro bono and open-source marketing concept which received strong public support and became formally accepted by the authorities.
Peter Kjeldbjerg has a strong experience in storytelling and entrepreneurship.
Peter started his career as a journalist and worked in his first years as an editor and host in various Danish broadcast stations.
But for the last 20 years his professional focus has been local development in the north western part of Denmark. In 2003 he became head of a brand new business park and incubator in Holstebro, Nupark.
During his time as CEO at Nupark he raised 100 mill. DKK for new venture funds aiming at seed startups in the region.
Storytelling and an intense focus on communicating Nuparks progress, made the business park grow from 14 tenants to more than 100 in the year 2014. After the succes Peter left Nupark for a new position as Editor in Chief at a local newspaper.
In January 2018 he joined the “City of Sound” project in Struer and became head of a new team and a new (city development) strategy.
Aileen leads the team responsible for Scottish Enterprise's strategic support to the tourism industry focusing on place development, SMART tourism and the Creative Economy. She works with partners including the Scottish Tourism Alliance and Scottish Government to help create a positive environment for sustainable growth in the Scottish economy.
Aileen is non-executive Director at National Museums Scotland Enterprises Ltd helping Scotland’s top free visitor attraction build its commercial success year on year. Due to her passion for supporting women across the industry, Aileen is a founding Board member of Women in Tourism, promoting female leadership and progression through mentoring and networks.
Aileen jointly developed the UK's first dedicated qualification focused on tourism place leadership. The award-winning Destination Leaders Programme is now in its sixth year and remains a unique professional development programme for sustainable tourism professionals.
Joanna Landau is a British-born marketing professional living in Israel. She served as a paramedic in the Israel Defense Forces and read law at Cambridge University. Joanna also holds an MBA, cum laude, with a specialization in marketing. In 2009, Joanna founded Vibe Israel, a nonprofit organisation with a mission to dramatically transform global perceptions of Israel using country branding techniques. She is a Director of Tel Aviv Global & Tourism and was listed by Forbes as one of the 50 most influential women in Israel.
Jason is a research, communications and reputation strategist with 15 years' global experience providing strategic council to public, private and non-profit clients regarding their reputation strategies, competitive positioning, stakeholder engagement, marketing and communications. Jason consults with clients on their reputation measurement and evaluation programs, and how they can optimise their marketing and communications programming for the greatest reputational impact.
Ambassador Óskarsson is roving Ambassador of Iceland to Nigeria, Israel, Argentina, Brazil and Chile and with special responsibility for nation branding/seafood and arms control and disarmament issues. Previously he served as ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal. Joining the foreign service in 1988, he has held several posts, including: Head of NATO Affairs and Security Policy Division at the MFA; Director for Defence and Security; Permanent Representative to OSCE; Ambassador of Iceland to Japan, Canada and Austria. He also served one year as Director for Policy at the Office of the NATO Special Representative in Afghanistan.
Martin Schipany has been working for the City of Vienna in the field of communications for over 10 years. After two years as media officer of the City Councillor for Urban Development, Traffic and Transport, he joined the City of Vienna Press and Information Services to serve as Head of Urban Communications and Media Planning. At the Press and Information Services, he was Deputy Head of Department for one year before being promoted to Head of Department in 2019.
Since 2000, Kristine has worked for Danish market leaders across sectors with focus on children. She has 20 years of experience within the private sector and has been responsible for developing and executing product and marketing strategies for 20+ countries.
Her efforts are within strategy, innovation and marketing and specifically within corporate turnarounds and within leapfrogging company growth with innovation, streamlining processes and portfolios.
In 2017, Kristine joined Capital of Children in Denmark where she is in process with turning the brand Capital of Children into a place brand. Capital of Children was executed as an organizational brand since its origin in 2010. Capital of Children is the strategic position and the brand for Billund in Denmark. Children play an important role in the Capital of Children since it is also the hometown of the LEGO company.
Kristine holds a Master of Business Administration and a MBA in Innovation in Complex Systems. She has won several product innovation and design awards for the companies for those she worked.
Bloom Consulting CEO
Since 2003 Mr. Torres has been advising Countries in the field of Nation Branding and City Branding, working directly with heads of state, directors of National Tourism Organizations and Investment Promotion Agencies.
His clients include Countries, Regions and Cities such as Australia, Costa Rica, Israel, Jamaica, Poland, Sweden, Stockholm and many others spread across all five continents.
Mr. Torres collaborates directly with the World Economic Forum in the matters of Nation Branding and is a guest speaker in some of the most prestigious universities in USA and Europe, such as HARVARD, the London Business School, Stockholm School of Economics and many others, being interviewed by The Economist, BBC, Guardian and CNN.
Since 2011 his company performs a global research project called the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking and most recently the Digital Country Index and the Digital City Index
Geerte Udo has been appointed CEO of amsterdam&partners effective March 2019. She is known as being a decisive connector with vision and a creative spirit.
Together with the amsterdam&partners team, Geerte focusses on one mayor goal: to ensure that the Amsterdam Area remains liveable and prosperous for all the stakeholders.
We do this by seizing opportunities and solving problems, with residents being the focal point of these efforts. Visitors and companies that add value to the Amsterdam Area are also guaranteed a warm welcome. amsterdam&partners focuses on quality rather quantity when it comes to the visitor economy and attracting businesses, conferences, and talent to the region.
Udo looks not only at the issues of today, but also those of tomorrow. How do we ensure that the Amsterdam Area will continue to be a great place to live, work, and study for everyone in the future? A place known for its open and diverse culture, where people have respect for each other and the environment.
The company uses data, new technologies such as artificial intelligence, and storytelling to build on the sustainable reputation of Amsterdam Area. They guide residents, companies, and conferences to familiar and less familiar places and contributes to ways of reducing nuisance.
Udo is a born networker, visionary and connector. But most of all she is a source of inspiration. Creating connections between partners in government, the business community, knowledge institutions, and cultural organizations makes it possible to take up challenges and seize opportunities.
Geerte studied Public Administration at Leiden University. After graduating, she joined the consultancy firm Twijnstra Gudde in 2000 as a consultant. There she worked on issues largely related to alliances and change management in the public sector. In 2006, she moved to Amsterdam Partners and in 2013 she joined the management team of what was then Amsterdam Marketing, now amsterdam&partners. Udo discovered her love for art, culture, and good food at an early age. She has lived in Amsterdam for 20 years.
Jos Vranken (1967) has been NBTC Holland Marketing’s Managing Director since 1 September 2007. NBTC Holland Marketing is responsible for the development, branding and marketing of ‘Holland’ as a destination.
After graduating from the Breda University of Applied Sciences, Jos Vranken started his professional career in 1990 at NBTC’s predecessor, the Netherlands Board of Tourism (NBT). In 1996, having held various positions, he joined Stayokay, the Dutch hostel chain, as its Sales & Marketing Manager and member of the Management Team.
In 1999, he moved to London to head up NBTC’s UK & Ireland office. Soon after, his role was extended to Regional director for the Nordic countries. Following a five-year tenure in London, Jos Vranken returned to NBTC head office to take on the role of International Marketing Director and join the Management Team.
In 2005, Jos Vranken accepted a new challenge at the contract catering company Avenance Nederland (which has since become part of Compass Group), where he fulfilled the position of Commercial Director and was a member of the Board.
On 1 September 2007, Jos Vranken re-joined NBTC as its Managing Director.
He holds various board memberships as well as supervisory roles, among which a non-executive role at the Dutch Football Association.
Edith Wong is Chief Marketing Officer at Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), a government department tasked to attract, facilitate and retain foreign direct investment into Hong Kong. The department works with companies of all sizes, from startups and SMEs to multinationals, and supports them in every stage from planning, setting up to promotion and expansion.
She joined InvestHK in 2005 and took up the CMO position in 2015. Her division oversees content marketing, events, public relations, social media, market intelligence and strategic research. Her teams work closely with 31 offices in key markets worldwide to reach out to potential investors and to strengthen and promote Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s premier business location. Recent campaigns launched and spearheaded by InvestHK include the StartmeupHK Festival and Hong Kong Fintech Week.
Prior to joining InvestHK, Edith worked with the Airport Authority Hong Kong and Hong Kong Productivity Council.
James Wright is Producer and Presenter of CNBC International popular feature show Marketing|Media|Money, a series that navigates the global advertising industry through the eyes of the senior marketers who are driving its evolution.
In this role, James has spoken to senior marketers and thought leaders from brands such as Lanson, Accenture, Spotify, Formula One and Mars Inc. James fronts CNBC’s coverage of the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity live from the shores of the South of France.
Prior to managing the production of Marketing|Media|Money, James fronted CNBC’s award winning environmental business show, Sustainable Energy. The series saw James speak to the key people shaping the energy landscape, examining sectors such as transport, agriculture and construction.
James is also an experienced weather presenter, having first joined ITV Weather in 2002.
James holds a BSc in Business from Cardiff University and has extensive media training experience.
Follow James on Twitter @JamesWrightTV.